Monday, December 31, 2007

What if It had been Harry Potter?

The transit system in Ft. Worth Texas has a strict policy; there will be no loud or abusive behavior on their buses. The question is, what constitutes loud or abusive behavior. Is it loud or abusive when a woman reads to her children on the bus? Most sane people would answer no. What about when she reads something really subversive like the Bible?
Christine Lutz, a mother of four, was riding on the bus with her children on Saturday, sabbath for Seventh Day Adventists, and reading the Bible to them when the driver ordered her to stop reading. The bus driver insisted, "This is not the time or the place." Mrs. Lutz refused. A supervisor was then brought on board. When the mother refused to stop reading the Bible, The supervisor escorted her and her children off the bus.
Without knowing all the facts in the incident, it's hard to say for sure. Hypothetically, she could have been making a nuisance of herself. On the other hand, its hard to believe that the woman could have been creating a disturbance simply by reading the Bible to her children. Since when does a bus driver decide an appropriate time and place for a mother to be teaching her children the Bible? What if she had been reading Harry Potter or Grim's Fairy Tales? Can you picture the bus driver telling her that it's not an appropriate time or place to read these books to her children.
Religious conversation seems to make a good number of people uncomfortable. Religion and politics are the two things you don't bring up in polite conversation. But religious expression is a guaranteed right in the first amendment. In the end, it doesn't matter if this mother's conversation with her children was offensive to passengers or uncomfortable to them. The constitution does not guarantee the right to not be offended. Of course, I'm sure there are judges who could find that right in the constitution if they were so inclined.
Let's hope that this woman is able to sue the transit system in Ft. Worth and that it sends a signal to a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to faith.

1 comment:

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

My thoughts exactly . . . only you said them in a kinder, gentler way than I could have. "Nicely" done!

<"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11>